INSIDE THE AVALANCHE

Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin suspended at least six months

May 13, 2024, 6:42 PM | Updated: May 14, 2024, 1:28 pm

Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin has been suspended a minimum of six months by the NHL.

The league announced that news on Monday night, about an hour before the Avs and Stars played in Game 4 of their Round 2 playoff series.

Nichushkin is in Stage 3 of the Player Assistance Program of the NHL and NHLPA.

“Under the terms of the joint program, Nichushkin will be suspended without pay for a minimum of six months and then will be eligible to apply for reinstatement,” the league said in a press release.

Nichushkin missed the final five games of the Avalanche’s Round 1 series against the Kraken a year ago, after leaving the team from a Seattle hotel. There was a police report, 911 call and body-camera footage, but details remained sketchy. At the time, a Russian woman told police a “bad man” stole her passport.

Nichushkin wasn’t disciplined by the league for the incident.

At training camp before the start of this year, Nichushkin didn’t want to talk about what happened.

“It’s a new season now and we have to focus on that,” Nichushkin said in September. “Let’s close it, I don’t want to talk about it.”

Nichushkin was away from the team earlier this season, also in the Player Assistance Program. He vowed to clean up his issues “once and for all,” at the time.

The Avalanche trail the Stars 2-1 in the series, and won’t have Nichushkin the rest of the playoffs. He’ll be back next November for the 2024-25 season at the absolute earliest.

In eight playoff games before Monday night, Valeri Nichushkin led Colorado with nine postseason goals.

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